The U21s started their Connacht championship campaign at MacHale Park this evening where, in a preliminary round tie, they got the better of Leitrim on a scoreline of 4-7 to 0-8. After a wasteful first half where they kicked ten wides and only went in two points ahead, the tie looked fairly well balanced but three further goals after the break sealed what was ultimately a comprehensive win for the home side.
I wasn’t anywhere near MacHale Park this evening – I was, in fact, at an altitude of 34,000 feet on a flight back into Dublin while the first half was being played – but I was able to follow the action from Castlebar thanks to the constant stream of Twitter updates. Those updates told a story of a frustrating first half for Niall Heffernan’s charges, the main bright spot being the goal scored by MOTM Michael Hall.
It was those three second half goals that secured the win tonight. The first of these, scored by Diarmuid O’Connor, was followed by a long break in play when Leitrim’s full-back Gary Butler collided with his own goalie and the unfortunate youngster was eventually stretchered from the field of play and taken to hospital, where hopefully the prognosis won’t be a serious one.
When the match eventually resumed – with fifteen minutes remaining on the clock at this stage – our lads continued to pull ahead and two further goals, the first from Matthew Ruane and the second from captain Adam Gallagher, sealed the win.
Next on the list for the U21s is a Connacht semi-final clash with Galway, also at MacHale Park, on Saturday week (21st March) where throw-in has been fixed for 5pm.